Although now residing in Wilton, Connecticut, George Bauer is originally from rural Missouri. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Washington University’s School of Engineering & Applied Science in 1953 and 1959, respectively, he embarked on a 31-year career with IBM that took him far from the family farm.
At IBM, he served in a variety of executive positions in marketing, finance, and business systems. He served as a group director for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and was an early member of the group in the United Kingdom that launched IBM in the consulting business. Upon retiring in 1987, he founded an investment banking firm, The GPB Group Ltd.
Bauer serves Washington University as a member of the Board of Trustees and the New York Regional Cabinet, and he and his wife, Carol, are involved in a number of philanthropic activities.
Together, the Bauers support institutions that serve a vital function in their communities. At Washington University, this has included serving on Olin Business School’s National Council, establishing a scholarship for students experiencing unforeseen financial difficulties, and, through the Bauer Foundation, establishing the George and Carol Bauer Professorship in Organizational Ethics and Governance.
In recent years, the Bauers have received many honors from Washington University. In 2009, the School of Engineering & Applied Science awarded George Bauer a Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. At the university’s Founders Day celebration in 2011, the Bauers received the Robert S. Brookings Award in recognition of their extraordinary generosity and commitment. And in 2012, Olin Business School honored George and Carol Bauer with the Dean’s Medal award.
The Bauers also are dedicated to ensuring quality medical services for their community in Wilton, and Carol Bauer’s long-term involvement at the Norwalk Hospital includes being the former chairperson of the board of trustees, founder and leader of the hospital’s ER Reception Volunteers, and currently a chaplain.
Through the Bauer Foundation, they make the “Sunday/Monday connection,” a term they use to describe their goal of bridging the spiritual and the secular in their lives. Among the initiatives they have supported are the creation of a local chapter of the national “I Have a Dream” program, which ensures a college education for underprivileged students who finish high school, subsidizes enrichment classes for public school students, and helps build safe playgrounds for children with disabilities. The Bauers also support the “New Life” Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which brings young girls from the brothels of Bangkok to halfway houses in Chiang Mai to continue their education and integrate back into Thai society.
In late 2011, the Bauer Foundation stepped forward with a transformative gift of $10 million to expand facilities with Bauer Hall. The expansion will provide the foundation for Olin’s second century of top-ranked undergraduate and graduate business programs.